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SAGE Student Success - how you like to learn

Becker, L. ORCID:, (2022) SAGE Student Success - how you like to learn. SAGE Student Success. SAGE Publications, London. (ISBN 9781071891735)

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To link to this item DOI: 10.4135/9781071891735


Learning preferences give you the chance to make the most of each of your learning opportunities. Whether it is a class, seminar or lecture, researching alone, or preparing for assessment, your learning preferences can guide how you work. On a practical level, this will save you valuable time and energy: if you are working in a way that suits you, you will be learning effectively and to maximum effect. On the level of outcomes, you should achieve higher grades more easily, because your mind is in optimal learning mode. Getting to know your learning preferences can do more than this: by working within your preference, your emotional learning journey is easier. You are more likely to feel comfortable in your learning space (both physical and emotional) and you will find your path towards achievement is more straightforward. One of the keys to unlocking success as a student is to take control whenever you can. Using your learning preferences to good effect is one way to take control. You might have noticed here that I am using the term ‘learning preferences’ rather than ‘learning styles’, and that reflects the history of this concept in education. Learning styles were first explored in the 1970s by an educational theorist called David Kolb, who was looking at experiential learning – that is, how each of our learning experiences, can, with suitable reflection and conceptualisation, feed into our next learning experience, so developing us as learners. Since then, two flaws have become obvious with this approach: firstly, it is not possible (or even necessarily very useful) for a lecturer or tutor to design a collective learning experience (such as a seminar) to suit particular learning styles; secondly, and more importantly, human beings are not amenable to being classified so rigidly. We are very complicated creatures and under the stress of trying to absorb and use information we become even more complicated. It is the same as personality types. You are either extravert or introvert, but this is a sliding scale, and for good reason. If you were 100% extravert, you would be manic and quite unable to function: if you were 100% introvert you would, equally, be unable to live in the outside world. So, you might find yourself with a preference for extraversion, and you will want to make the most of that, but you will also recognise that there will be times when you will display introvert characteristics, and you can enjoy that side of yourself too. We can all work within several preference areas. Some of the approaches described here are those that you will already be taking, because you are already a learner working naturally within your preferences. Sometimes the changes you make as a result of this section will be tiny (but still potentially powerful) and some will be far greater (and involve rethinking how you approach many familiar situations).

Item Type:Web Resource
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Literature
ID Code:111410
Publisher:SAGE Publications


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